One of the sites where the illegal miners operate. One of the sites where the illegal miners operate.
One of the sites where the illegal miners operate. One of the sites where the illegal miners operate.

By Jack Adom

One of the sites where the illegal miners operate. One of the sites where the illegal miners operate.

Located? right in the womb of the Anyinkrerem community in the Amansie Central District, is the bustling? community called Besease. Until recently a leading grower of cola nuts, cocoa, maize, plantain and cassava ?but thanks ?to the?irresponsible and ?savage craze for money by illegal miners, the village has become a shadow of itself. Ghanaian and Chinese illegal miners continue to rape ?and abuse the village to the extent that , they ?have made themselves literally ?kings of the village.

 

Illegal Chinese miners have taken over the local economy. They have built ?ramshackle wooden camps as their residents and warehouse? for their chemicals, pieces of equipment, spares and excavators; employing scores of Ghanaians to do the dirty job at rock bottom wages. ?Lack of decent job opportunities ?here ?have forced us to join the Chinese illegal mining bandwagon to make a living?,? a 21 – year Senior Secondary School ?graduate from Jakobu, capital of Amansie Central said.

 

Another native, Joseph Ackonor, ?34 and his wife Martha noted that – ? We have been working for the Chinese for the past 3 years for a pittance?. ?They left the job 3 months ago to pursue farming in another village nearby. The Chinese pay no compensation to the local farmers, neither do they pay tax to the municipal assembly or the central government. They ?always forcibly seize the lands and farms but we suspect that they also cut deals with the local chiefs before they start their operations?.

 

The police always visit these illegal mining sites, together with some of the assemblymen but ?we?re yet to see what they are doing to protect the people from the activities of the illegal miners?. The Chinese are ?always? illegally armed with guns ?and crude implements to defend themselves and their ?rights?, though the liberal ones among them accept that what they are doing is not right; it?s against the laws of the country and unethical but they are heavily encouraged by powerful ?politicians at both regional and national levels, a former national security official explained.

 

?The questions that we have to ask ourselves are ? How the Chinese come to Ghana; who gave them the visa in the first place; why are they roaming and working in the mining communities; what is preventing the police and even the immigration authorities from causing the arrest of these illegal miners; why are the chiefs not complaining???, Goshen Boakye Acheampong, ? a?postgraduate from ??Amansie North said. Mr Acheampong has followed and extensively carried research into galamsey activities in the Amansie and Adansi? traditional ?areas, concludes that ?the illegal business is controlled and directed by a strong mafia, made up of Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians?.

 

?The galamsey activities that you see at Besease is a tiny tip of the iceberg. Almost 40% of fertile lands in the whole district and water bodies have been polluted by the Chinese and there is no end in sight that they will cease mining. My genuine fears are that the Chinese and other foreigners are raping and abusing our lands, farmlands, forest and water bodies; but when are we going ?to tell the ?Chinese government ?and their operatives in the country that enough is enough ??, Mr Acheampong wants to know.

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